Chronic cough is defined as that lasting for more than eight weeks and is known to have a prevalence of around 10% in the community. Smokers have a much higher prevalence of cough than non smokers. Women have a higher prevalence of cough and have a more sensitive cough reflex as compared to men. Asthma and related syndromes, post nasal drip syndrome and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease have been thought to be the cause of chronic cough in a majority of cases. It has been recently suggested that chronic cough is a distinct clinical entity comprising of chronic cough with cough hypersensitivity. This has been termed the cough hypersensitivity syndrome.
Keywords: Cough, epidemiology, gender, asthma, Pathophysiology, post nasal drip syndrome, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, cough hypersensitivity syndrome, viral upper respiratory tract infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, diffuse parenchymal lung diseases, pulmonary tuberculosis, congestive heart failure, productive cough, aerodynamic diameter, afferent distribution, slowly adapting receptors (SAR's), unmyelinated C-fibres, transient receptor potential (TRP), pathogenesis, nucleus tractus solitarius, cough center, rhinitis, sinusitis, cough variant asthma, Eosinophilic bronchitis, bronchoalveolar lavage, dyspepsia, lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), idiopathic cough
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